Subway maintenance question

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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frankie
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: St. Peters, Missouri

Subway maintenance question

Post by frankie » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:14 pm

We all know that rolling stock are constantly maintained and repainted if and when necessary to keep the appearance updated as well as to prolong the life of the cars, but how about all the gazillions of pillars and other weight bearing structures that makes up the subway system. Are they repainted also? I would assume they are low maintenance since they are not affected by the elements as you would find with el structures that with time will eventually erode. I have wondered this for quite a long time and I can't think of a better place to ask.

Frankie
Mineola, NY is my real home, however I live 60 miles from Mineola, MO. No LIRR here!

Allan
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:10 am
Location: Bronx, NY

Re: Subway maintenance question

Post by Allan » Wed May 04, 2011 9:03 am

frankie wrote:We all know that rolling stock are constantly maintained and repainted if and when necessary to keep the appearance updated as well as to prolong the life of the cars, but how about all the gazillions of pillars and other weight bearing structures that makes up the subway system. Are they repainted also? I would assume they are low maintenance since they are not affected by the elements as you would find with el structures that with time will eventually erode. I have wondered this for quite a long time and I can't think of a better place to ask.

Frankie
The instances are the subway support pillars being repainted are far a few between. These days the ones in the stations are only done when (and if) the entire station is being refurbished. The last ones done was 96th St/Broadway and 59th St/Columbus Circle (both almost complete) and right now they are working on the Bleecker St station (but so far nothing has been done to the pillars). Occasionally selected pillars in a station might be done to cover over graffiti.

When I look at some of the pillars (from the platform) I can see how many are just covered with dust (plain dust and steel dust). Sometimes I wonder if that is what is holding them up.

As far as the pillars in the tunnels between the stations, I would imagine they haven't seen a paint job in a long time (I still see old faded graffiti). I do recall (back in the 1980's - I think - that many of the tunnels were given a full wash down using water under pressure because the tunnel walls were actually clean (you could see the original white concrete).

BobLI
Posts: 999
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:46 am
Location: NY

Re: Subway maintenance question

Post by BobLI » Wed May 04, 2011 1:29 pm

To bad they cant give the tunnels a high pressure wash to get rid of the grafitti on the walls in the tunnels now. And perhaps the entrances to the tunnels from the elevated structures. Those areas have to be the most grafitti damaged areas in the whole system.
Question. Is or was there a maintenence train that could scrub the tile wall areas in stations? Those areas are getting gritty looking on some lines.

Allan
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:10 am
Location: Bronx, NY

Re: Subway maintenance question

Post by Allan » Thu May 05, 2011 3:32 pm

BobLI wrote:To bad they cant give the tunnels a high pressure wash to get rid of the grafitti on the walls in the tunnels now. And perhaps the entrances to the tunnels from the elevated structures. Those areas have to be the most grafitti damaged areas in the whole system.
Question. Is or was there a maintenence train that could scrub the tile wall areas in stations? Those areas are getting gritty looking on some lines.
No, station walls would be washed down by maintenance crews that would use surface vehicles to get to the stations or on occasion use a regular train. Given the amount of time needed to wash down a whole station the use of a maintenance train would only block the trains behind it.

They do clean graffiti off of station walls but only if someone brings it to their attention (in other words - makes a complaint). I have done that a number of times via the "Contact Us" email feature on the MTA web site. They have been pretty good at responding within a few days to clean the walls.

Cleaning tunnel walls on portals are always a low priority (even less when there are budget issues).

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